Saturday 30 April 2011

The historic city of Denia, Spain

I spent Easter once more in the beautiful, historic city of Denia in Alicante, Spain.
Here’s a 16th Century religious artifact available to all, simply built into the wall of a house in front of the tiny convent. The convent is beautifully ornate and fabulously decorated. It’s hard to believe, but also a sign of the times, that there are only 4 nuns left now in this convent: two of them are recent arrivals from South America. In the past nuns were dedicated to a vow of silence and communicated with the outside world by written notes from behind a screen.  Fortunately for them, now the nuns can now play a full part in contemporary society and the beauty of their church and of the artifacts nearby, remain for us all to enjoy. 

Here’s a photo of a plaque which tells us that the writer Lope de Vega was in Denia in 1599 during the wedding celebrations of King Philip (Felipe)  III and his sister Princess Elisabeth (Isabel) Clara Eugenia.  The plaque was placed here in 1962, on the 400th anniversary of Lope de Vega’s birth.  Never mind the royalty, Lope de Vega was the renowned dramatist of his generation, creating a huge number of works including sonnets, novels and plays. He was a contemporary of Ruíz de Alarcón and respected by Quevedo.

Here’s a photo of the Asunción church: centerpiece of civic and social life in the city of Denia. The church shares the sides of the square with the city hall and the road up to the historic castle. Access to it is difficult at the moment due to a remodelling of the square where it stands. Now the ground is covered in fresh cement: when we were there last summer the ground had been dug up and we could see, just a few feet below current ground level, the remains of walls of houses from Roman times. Time after time, over the years in Denia, we have seen priceless archeological remains such as this covered over in favour of redevelopment: the whole port area of Denia is a living historical testimony,  but it has been buried forever so that blocks of holiday apartments can be built, such a shame.

Still, there is so much to see and enjoy, make sure you include Denia on your next holiday itinerary…

1 comment:

  1. Spain is an old culture, full of raw passion, tragedy, love and a fascination with the macabre. It takes some time to get used to the intimate nature of the people. They are a nation of huggers and kissers. In North American culture where a handshake is normal to greet people, here in Spain it is a hug and a kiss on both cheeks. This is standard for men and women.Spain is the finest holiday destination for all group of age,there are many places like Costa Maresme,Ibiza and Mallorca (Majorca),where you can enjoy luxurious villa's life with long beaches and also late night parties.
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